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Will the Real Doug Martin Please Stand Up?

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Was there a lot to be disappointed about in Sunday's 37-23 loss to Carolina?

Absolutely.

But if there is a positive to be taken from that game is that Doug Martin is capable of having 100-plus yard games. On Sunday, he rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown, and showed some great catching ability too when he caught 5 for 5 with 37 yards. It was the most offensive production Martin has gotten in two weeks, as he ran for 78 yards in the Buccaneers 26-19 win over the Saints in Week 2.

So the question remains: Will the real Doug Martin please stand up?

Doug Martin had a pretty nice game Sunday against the Panthers. (Courtesy of Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Doug Martin had a pretty nice game Sunday against the Panthers. (Courtesy of Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Living in Boise, Idaho for a number of years, and seeing what Doug Martin can do up close in college, it must be killing him that injuries have kept him from repeating his 2012 Pro Bowl year. He's the ultimate competitor, and wants to do the absolute most to help his team win.

Which makes me happy when he has games like this.

And a few NFL Fantasy Football experts think he improved his value on Sunday.

"In terms of raising his fantasy football stock, he did so exponentionally," said TJ Wilson, who hosts the Fantasy News Hour on 98 The Ticket in Abilene, Texas. "I would be disappointed if he didn't rush for 1,000 yards this year. His offensive line gelling will only help him. I also think teams have stacked the box. They've been wanting Winston to beat them. Evans coming back helps Martin a ton."

Do I think Martin will reach 1,000 yards this year? I truly think he will, especially as this offensive line matures more as the season goes by. Jameis Winston can't do it by himself, as the Buccaneers need a more balanced offense and not just a pass oriented game. I think Martin will take advantage of Jacksonville's tepid defense, which ranks 24th in the NFL right now. If Martin can have the type of game he had on Sunday, and the offensive line can protect Winston from the blitz, I can see the Buccaneers beating the Jaguars on Sunday, 23-10.

If Doug Martin can stay healthy this year, and I think that is a big maybe, there's no reason why this guy can't get 1,100 yards. He has the speed, the muscle and burning desire to compete, and especially in a contract year, it's important that he has a really good year. And it's not just about the money.

It's about pride.